Of the twenty hotels we stayed in on this trip to four countries of South East Asia, the I - Residence was by far the biggest disappointment. From its basic concept, to its management and operations, this hotel has serious deficiencies that compromise customer satisfaction. Price and location by Skytrain are its principal advantages - not the quality of the rooms or services.
Apparently, it is the result of a renovation of some office space spanning three buildings. It has no lobby area as such, its reception area being a cramped room adjoining its basement car park. It has all the welcoming charm of a car rental agency. The registration staff provided no map of the hotel's convoluted layout and floor plan, making location of one's room a challenge. (We used different three elevators before we found the correct cobination.) Nor could the registration staff provide a map of the local area to assist clients in using Bangkok's excellent Skytrain system or in finding a local restaurant. Eventually the "concierge" did produce a map - but could provide no service explaining and suggesting items to guests.
Our supposedly upgraded guest room was painted (almost) black. Even the carpet was black, and the bathroom tiles on the walls and floor were black. Although the basic facilities were spacious and adequate, such dark interior decoration was completely off-putting - especially for seniors with dimming vision. Black is funereal, not the best colour to welcome tired international travelers to such a vibrant city. The room seemed in darkness even with every room light on!
The room had several serious shortcomings and several irritating inconveniences. The bathroom lacked face cloths, a clothesline for travelers to rinse their underwear, a mirror positioned in a user friendly location for personal grooming, an intelligent system for draining shower water without getting the floor wet, an ironing board and iron, etc. Insufficient provision was made for toilet tissue, necessitating two calls to housekeeping for a spare roll. No written instructions were provided for the safety deposit box, necessitating calls for staff help, including a congenial manager on two separate days before we abandoned using it. Purchased WiFi service in our room provided erratic service at best, and the TV was unserviceable on our last evening in the hotel ... perhaps its way of taking revenge on us for all our bad-mouthing of this hotel.
The hotel had no meeting room to meet with our tour guide and our fellow travelers. The "coffee shop" was closed on weekends and there was no hotel tuck shop for newspapers or toiletries, etc. If there were any fitness facilities, they were not communicated to guests.
The breakfast area is on a roof top overlooking the city - potentially quite attractive. However, it was filthy - much of it on a cumbersome raised platform adjacent to the air conditioning chilling towers with steel grating on the walls, giving the ambience of a prison holding cell. Its buffet breakfast offered much less variety and quality than almost every other hotel we stayed in on this trip. The staff had to be asked to turn down the TV which was blaring cartoons in Thai - for a guest population of non-Thai speaking, mainly senior guests.
The very young and inexperienced staff seemed to be trying very hard to please their guests. However, it was apparent that their communication skills were weak, and that they had not received effective training and supervision. Even the night supervisor was unable to provide me with an invoice showing that I had zero balance owing on check-out.
Our tour company apparently made a poor decision when it contracted with the I - Residence. Not one of the twelve guests in our group had favourable feedback for it. Hopefully other travelers can find more appealing accommodation in beautiful Bangkok.
Cranky senior in Ottawa
For those for whom price and location are not the only criteria, shop around.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC